The Google Panda Fiasco And The “Moronic” Google Penguin Update (Part Two)
Now brands, they are really dominating. They started to really dominate the rankings after the first few Google updates last October. But now; they’ve taken over. If you Google a review on any kind of physical product, 90% of the time the first two pages will be full of brands.
Big brand review sites like Epinions and Viewpoint for example. No longer are there many independent review sites built by Internet Marketers. That side of Internet Marketing appears to be very much screwed right now.
I keep saying the dust will soon settle, but right now it seems like this is just the beginning of many evil updates to come. All I can say is Google better introduce a better filter system to sort the good content from the bad. Just because a site has 5 pages, it doesn’t mean it’s full of useless content.
But Google assumes that small websites are full of awful content and only built to make money. If that happened to be true; I would be 100% behind Google and their recent decisions. But unfortunately it’s just not the case.
There are plenty of incredible small-medium sized sites out there that are built by individuals. And 80% of the time… I would rather visit them than some stupid brand/authority website. So that seems to be the case right now with the recent updates.
Brands and massive authority sites are dominating. Little niche sites have been mostly wiped out and some authority sites are still ranking. But the majority of all niche sites have lost a substantial percentage of their traffic.
Overall it’s not a great time to be doing SEO unless you’re a brand or gigantic site. I honestly think people should lay low for a little while and focus on other traffic generation strategies. Most importantly I believe it’s time to dive into paid traffic.
Learn about PPC, learn about PPV, solo ads, media buys and banner advertising. Paying for traffic is the much easier option once you get it right. Sure, at first you might end up throwing away a few thousand bucks. But, as long as you know your stuff and have “some” money to gamble with; you should dive into paid traffic.
I’ve always recommended people to build up a free traffic source using SEO, blogging and content marketing. But it’s become ten times more difficult now. It’s still very doable and works very much the same way it did three years ago. But we’re living in unprecedented times.
What works today in the world of SEO may get you penalized in another year. That’s the key reason why I believe people should dive into paid traffic. Google only has to flip a switch for your entire years worth of work to be ruined.
So feel free to continue doing SEO and keep adapting to these new changes. But if a time comes where you lose everything overnight for using an SEO strategy that was “OK” a year ago; don’t expect Google to care.
In conclusion, SEO still works and it will probably still work in 5 to 10 years time. If you’re going to continue to optimize your site and go against Google’s terms of service (like all SEO’s do), just don’t complain when you get hit by one of these updates.
As from where I’m standing, there is no greater force than Google (they are the Internet) and we can’t fight them. The Google Penguin update was designed to punish people who’ve been spamming Google and going against their guidelines. Apparently it targeted things like “keyword stuffing” or “cloaking” along with the big one; webspam.
The Panda and Penguin updates are two completely different things. I haven’t gone into the time lines of when each update hit or even the exact details. The truth is I’m tired of talking about SEO and all of these updates. How everyone needs to constantly adapt and all that crap.
I wanted this post to serve as a wake up call to many frustrated webmasters, marketers and even SEO’s around the globe. SEO will always keep changing so either keep your mouth shut and play the game or go home. Otherwise start using paid traffic. Once you can make paid traffic profitable, you can scale up and your business will explode.
I still recommend everyone to build one free traffic source using SEO. Maybe it’s a website or blog, whatever suits you best. Once you have that free traffic source built up, you can use it to fund paid marketing. But right now it’s all natural selection. Some websites are getting caned while others are walking “Scott free”.
These recent updates have definitely penalized sites using “webspam” tactics to build “artificial backlinks”. That’s why many Google results right now look like did back in the 90’s. Thousands of sites from the 90’s+ are now re-appearing. Why? Just because they built very few backlinks back then. It’s simply because almost every other site on the planet has participated in “unnatural linking” as Google says.
So they’ve had to resurrect some old search results. A lot of these changes don’t make sense, in fact most of them are complete BS. But come on; who’s actually been talking about the good Google’s done? (Not me)
I actually can’t find anyone talking or showing proof of the good Google has done with these updates. I can’t find anyone talking about the better quality of the search results. All I keep hearing is how Google is destroying people’s businesses and worsening the search results.
So is this the end of SEO?
Not at all, but it’s definitely pushed most people to the edge. The best thing you can right now is to continue to publish high quality content and to continue doing SEO. What kind of SEO is the question you need to be asking yourself. If you want to make your life easier, follow Google’s new rules.
Participate in white hat tactics and avoid webspam i.e. most black hat SEO. The Google Penguin has targeted:
- Keyword stuffing
- Link schemes
- Cloaking, “sneaky” redirects or “doorway” pages
- Duplicate content
By link schemes, they mean blog networks and other paid link building tactics along with link spam. The bad news is, it’s quite apparent that many of these penalties are site wide. Meaning you’ll have a very difficult time ranking any of your existing pages or even new pages for a long time.
If you’ve got X number of pages penalized for link spam or any other tactics; Google’s probably put your entire domain on their naughty list. Everyone keeps telling me this, but my experimentation says otherwise. Basically I believe “some” penalities are site wide and others are not.
“Some” websites will be able to completely re-gain their rankings while others will not. Unfortunately this means many people will need to scrap their domains and start over. But hardly anyone’s going to do that. Most will continue to do SEO in the hope of reviving their rankings, but to most’s surprise; they won’t.
But that’s just my opinion. Sure; it’s based on hard evidence, personal results and testing… But who knows. Maybe the dipshits over at Google will throw us a bone. But what are the chances of that?
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